.au domain name life cycle
New .au domain names can be registered for a minimum of 1 year to a maximum of 5 years.
A domain’s total current registration period cannot exceed 5 years (1,825 days).
A 3-day Grace Period is available on new .au registrations, where a partner can receive a refund on a domain deletion should there be a misspelling or error in the registration. After this period, deleting the domain will not be eligible for a refund.
Once the domain name is within 90 days of expiring, it can be renewed for 1 to 5 years. A 5-year renewal can only be processed on the day of expiry or during the 30 days after expiry before the domain is deleted from the registry. This is because the total registration period cannot exceed 5 years, and renewing the domain will add to the current registration period.
Once the domain registration expires, it then enters a 30-day period where its status is Expired and the WHOIS status will change to serverHold and serverUpdateProhibited. During this time, the domain name will not resolve any of its functions. A renewal can be processed during this time at the regular renewal cost – unlike with some other gTLDs where a ‘Redemption Grace Period’ charge may apply.
During this period, the domain name cannot have the Registrant Contact information or Eligibility ID updated, and cannot be transferred either.
After the domain name has been expired for 30 days, it eventually progresses to an ‘Expired Pending Purge’ status on the registry. This means the domain will not be able to be renewed, updated, or transferred any more and will be eligible for purge within 24 hours.
During this time, the domain will be published on the official Expired Domains Report. This report is generated once every day and details the domain names that are about to be dropped from the registry. Exactly one calendar day after the domain name appears on the list it will become eligible for purge and be purged from the registry at the next cycle which occurs at 1.00pm (AEST) or 2.00pm (AEDT).
Once a domain has passed 24 hours in a ‘Pending Purge’ state, and has made an appearance on the Expired Domains Report, the domain will be purged from the registry and ‘drop’ away no earlier than the next ‘cycle’, which is at 1.00pm (AEST) or 2.00pm (AEDT) each day. After the domain is purged, it is available again for re-registration.
It is a good rule of thumb to estimate that a domain will become available for re-registration again after 32 days of expiry, as the domain might not make it to the first ‘cycle’ of purges depending on what time it progresses to the ‘Pending Purge’ stage.
Domain Deletion (outside of the natural life cycle)
Where early deletion is requested – this can be done from your partner console up to 3 times per year – the domain’s state will progress immediately to the Pending Deletion state mentioned above and will have a pendingDelete status applied on the WHOIS database.
Another type of domain deletion is a ‘Policy Delete’, which occurs when the domain registration is found to be in breach of auDA policies. This occurs most commonly after a complaint is lodged to auDA regarding the registrant’s eligibility to hold the domain.
When a policy deletion is executed, the domain will remain in a ‘pending deletion’ stage at the registry for 14 days before becoming eligible for purge. After those 14 days, the domain should appear on the Deleted Domains Report.